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What Do Complex Adaptive Systems Look Like and What Are the Implications for Innovation Policy?

Author

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  • Hall, Andy

    (UNU-MERIT, and LINK)

  • Clark, Norman

    (Open University)

Abstract

This paper explores the use of complex adaptive systems theory in development policy analysis using a case study drawn from recent events in Uganda. It documents the changes that took place in the farming system in Soroti district during an outbreak of African cassava mosaic virus disease (ACMVD) and the subsequent decline in cassava production - the main staple food in the area. Resultant adaptation impacts are analysed across cropping, biological, economic and social systems each of which operate as an interlinked sub-system. The policy implications of this story suggest a policy agenda that recognises adaptation capacity as the life blood of complex adaptive systems. Since these types of systems are found in all realms of human activity, it follows that strengthening this capacity is a key developmental priority that requires linking together new configurations of actors and resources to tackle an ever-changing set of contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Hall, Andy & Clark, Norman, 2009. "What Do Complex Adaptive Systems Look Like and What Are the Implications for Innovation Policy?," MERIT Working Papers 2009-046, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2009046
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rufin Baghana & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Effectiveness of R&D tax incentives in small and large enterprises in Québec," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 91-107, June.
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    4. Hall, Andy & Sulaiman, Rasheed & Bezkorowajnyj, Peter, 2008. "Reframing technical change: Livestock Fodder Scarcity Revisited as Innovation Capacity Scarcity: Part 2. A Framework for Analysis," MERIT Working Papers 2008-003, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Biggs, Stephen D., 1990. "A multiple source of innovation model of agricultural research and technology promotion," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(11), pages 1481-1499, November.
    6. Hall, Andy & Sulaiman, Rasheed & Bezkorowajnyj, Peter, 2008. "Reframing technical change: Livestock Fodder Scarcity Revisited as Innovation Capacity Scarcity: Part 3. Tools for Diagnosis and Institutional Change in Innovation Systems," MERIT Working Papers 2008-004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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    Cited by:

    1. Beliyou Haile & Carlo Azzarri & Cleo Roberts & David J. Spielman, 2017. "Targeting, bias, and expected impact of complex innovations on developing-country agriculture: evidence from Malawi," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 317-326, May.
    2. Davies, Jocelyn & Maru, Yiheyis & Hall, Andy & Abdourhamane, Issoufou Kollo & Adegbidi, Anselme & Carberry, Peter & Dorai, Kumuda & Ennin, Stella Ama & Etwire, Prince Maxwell & McMillan, Larelle & Njo, 2018. "Understanding innovation platform effectiveness through experiences from west and central Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 321-334.
    3. Kilelu, Catherine W. & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2016. "Unraveling the role of innovation platforms in supporting coevolution of innovation: Contributions and tensions in a smallholder dairy-development program," IFPRI book chapters, in: Devaux, André & Torero, Maximo & Donovan, Jason & Horton, Douglas E. (ed.), Innovation for inclusive value-chain development: Successes and challenges, chapter 9, pages 269-302, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Kilelu, Catherine W. & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2013. "Unravelling the role of innovation platforms in supporting co-evolution of innovation: Contributions and tensions in a smallholder dairy development programme," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 65-77.
    5. Schut, Marc & Klerkx, Laurens & Rodenburg, Jonne & Kayeke, Juma & Hinnou, Léonard C. & Raboanarielina, Cara M. & Adegbola, Patrice Y. & van Ast, Aad & Bastiaans, Lammert, 2015. "RAAIS: Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems (Part I). A diagnostic tool for integrated analysis of complex problems and innovation capacity," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 1-11.
    6. Schut, Marc & van Asten, Piet & Okafor, Chris & Hicintuka, Cyrille & Mapatano, Sylvain & Nabahungu, Nsharwasi Léon & Kagabo, Desire & Muchunguzi, Perez & Njukwe, Emmanuel & Dontsop-Nguezet, Paul M. & , 2016. "Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems in the Central African Highlands: The need for institutional innovation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 165-176.
    7. Pigford, Ashlee-Ann E. & Hickey, Gordon M. & Klerkx, Laurens, 2018. "Beyond agricultural innovation systems? Exploring an agricultural innovation ecosystems approach for niche design and development in sustainability transitions," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 116-121.
    8. Turner, James A. & Klerkx, Laurens & White, Toni & Nelson, Tracy & Everett-Hincks, Julie & Mackay, Alec & Botha, Neels, 2017. "Unpacking systemic innovation capacity as strategic ambidexterity: How projects dynamically configure capabilities for agricultural innovation," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 503-523.
    9. Klerkx, Laurens & Aarts, Noelle & Leeuwis, Cees, 2010. "Adaptive management in agricultural innovation systems: The interactions between innovation networks and their environment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(6), pages 390-400, July.
    10. Pant, Laxmi Prasad, 2016. "Paradox of mainstreaming agroecology for regional and rural food security in developing countries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 305-316.
    11. Tariq, Azeem & de Neergaard, Andreas & Jensen, Lars Stoumann & Sander, Bjoern Ole & Trinh, Mai Van & Vu, Quynh Duong & Wassmann, Reiner & de Tourdonnet, Stephane, 2018. "Co-design and assessment of mitigation practices in rice production systems: A case study in northern Vietnam," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 72-82.
    12. Sara Helen Kaweesa & Hamid El Bilali & Willibald Loiskandl, 2021. "Analysing the socio-technical transition to conservation agriculture in Uganda through the lens of the multi-level perspective," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 7606-7626, May.
    13. Sartas, Murat & Schut, Marc & Proietti, Claudio & Thiele, Graham & Leeuwis, Cees, 2020. "Scaling Readiness: Science and practice of an approach to enhance impact of research for development," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
    14. Magala, D. B & Mangheni, M. N & Miiro, R, 2018. "Formation of effective multi-stakeholder Platforms: Lessons from coffee innovation platforms in Uganda," African Journal of Rural Development (AFJRD), AFrican Journal of Rural Development (AFJRD), vol. 3(1), March.
    15. Nisbett, Nicholas, 2019. "Understanding the nourishment of bodies at the centre of food and health systems – systemic, bodily and new materialist perspectives on nutritional inequity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 228(C), pages 9-16.
    16. Sun, Yutao & Cao, Cong, 2018. "The evolving relations between government agencies of innovation policymaking in emerging economies: A policy network approach and its application to the Chinese case," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 592-605.
    17. Dolinska, Aleksandra & d'Aquino, Patrick, 2016. "Farmers as agents in innovation systems. Empowering farmers for innovation through communities of practice," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 122-130.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Complex Adaptive Systems; Innovation Policy; Uganda; Cassava; Adaptation Capacity; Smallholder Production; Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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